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screen grab / print screen

A screen grab (Mac), or print screen (PC-Windows) is an image of what a person sees on their computer screen. Often described as “taking a picture of the screen”.

Screen grabs are useful when testing a webpage design in a number of different web browsers. Sending a web designer an image of how the webpage ‘looks’ is a quick and easy way of describing a design issue, particularly when you are viewing a webpage using an operating system and/or web browser that differs to that of your designer.

How to take a screen grab / print screen

PC-Windows

  1. With the webpage showing in your browser, click the Print screen key on your keyboard.
    Depending on the type of keyboard you are using, the Print screen key will be located near the number pad, and might be abbreviated to [PrtScn].
  2. Open a new Word document and from the menu at the top of the screen choose: Edit > Paste.
  3. Add notes to the Word document describing the bug (or change).
  4. Save the Word document and then attach to an email and send to your designer.

Mac

  1. Open/link to the webpage.
  2. Press [Apple] + [Shift] + [3] (you should hear a camera-shutter sound).
  3. Open a new Word document and from the menu at the top of the screen choose: Edit > Paste.
  4. Add notes to the Word document describing the bug (or change).
  5. Save the Word document then attach to an email and send to your designer.

Annotating a screen grab in an image-editing program

You can also paste a screen grab into an image-editing program such as Photoshop. The extra tools that are available in an image editor will enable you to draw over the top of the screen grab to make more detailed annotations.

  1. Once you've taken the screen grab, go to Photoshop and create a new document: File > New.
    The new image will automatically be set to the dimensions of the screen grab.
  2. From the top menu, choose Edit > Paste.
  3. Use the drawing tools to highlight bugs and make notes.
  4. Save the image as a JPEG then attach to an email and send to your designer.

Related terms: above-the-fold, pixels, web browser.

 

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